Know before you go
Parking informationOn roadside at Balloo Avenue or Balloo Drive. See 'Access' below for further details.
A network of paths suitable for wheelchair users. 0.4-mile trail. Easy terrain.
There are three entrances to the woodland: two on Balloo Avenue and one on Balloo Drive. The Balloo Drive entrance is through a kissing gate with road side parking. The first entrance on Balloo Avenue is through an open chicane, again with roadside parking. The other entrance on Balloo Avenue, opposite the recycling centre entrance, is through an open gate. There is a turning circle and more space to park at this entrance.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMay to September
About the reserve
Balloo Woodland is managed in partnership with Ards and North Down Borough Council and forms an important part of a network of wildlife sites in the area.
The woodland is the last remnant of the gardens of Balloo House - home of the Steele-Nicholson family from the early 1700s – and hosts a fine variety of mature trees including good examples of oak, beech and Scot’s pine, some of which are several hundred years old. Other habitats found here include a small pond, a wildflower meadow and areas of scrub.
In spring, carpets of anemones, bluebells, and strong-smelling wild garlic offer a feast for the senses, along with the sounds of many songbirds such as blackcap and chiff-chaff.
On sunny summer days, look out for butterflies fluttering around the grassy areas from common blue and peacock to ringlet and scarce holly blue, which was formerly restricted to Co Down.
In winter, the reserve is a great spot to look for birds such as goldcrest and gregarious flocks of long-tailed tit roving through the trees in search of food.
At Balloo Woodland, maintaining the network of formal paths for visitors is a key priority. We also mow the meadow to ensure a colourful wildflower display each year and remove highly invasive non-native species such as Japanese knotweed.